March 28, 2009

Watch Game Highlights! | Midwest Regional Breakdown Podcast

Courtesy of Cornell

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Senior Evan Barlow's goal with just under 18 seconds remaining in the third period gave the Cornell men's hockey team a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Northeastern in the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Big Red, which improves to 22-9-4 on the year, will face the winner of top-seeded Notre Dame and fourth-seeded Bemidji State in the championship game on Sunday.

Barlow, Colin Greening and Blake Gallagher each had a goal and an assist for the Big Red, which fell behind 2-0 midway through the second period. Gallagher's seventh goal of the year put the Big Red on the scoreboard before Greening's tally with just under four minutes left in the third period knotted the game at two, setting the stage for Barlow's heroics.

The game was billed as a battle of two of the nation's top goaltenders, and neither Cornell's Ben Scrivens nor Northeastern's Brad Thiessen disappointed. Scrivens stopped 19 shots in picking up the victory, while Thiessen made 29 saves in defeat. Cornell finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Huskies were held scoreless in eight power-play chances.

Northeastern got on the board with 39.9 seconds left in the first period when Louis Liotti's shot from the center point caromed first off a Cornell stick and then off a Cornell player's leg before trickling across the goal line. The Huskies made the score 2-0 when Cornell was caught in a defensive line change and Steve Silva broke free in the neutral zone and skated in alone on Scrivens, shooting the puck high to the junior netminder's upper left corner with 10:39 to play in the second.

Gallagher put the Big Red on the board with 2:02 to play, getting an ugly goal in front. Michael Kennedy fished the puck out from behind the net, and with a lot of traffic in front of Thiessen, Gallagher roofed the puck from just outside the crease to give the Big Red its first goal and some much-needed momentum going into the third period.

Cornell carried the play in the third, out-shooting the Huskies, 14-4, but could not get the tying goal. A power play for the Big Red when Northeastern's Alex Tuckerman was called for checking from behind generated a chance for Cornell. That chance paid off as Greening deflected a Barlow shot down between the legs of Thiessen, knotting the score at two.

The Big Red didn't stop there, though, as Cornell kept pressuring, trying to win the game in regulation. Blake Gallagher started what would be the eventual game-winning play by carrying the puck into the Northeastern end and hitting Riley Nash in stride. Nash, with two defenders draped all over him, fell to the ice, but maintained enough control to lay the puck into the path of the oncoming Barlow. Barlow then ripped a hard, low shot that beat Thiessen between the legs with just 17 seconds to play.

Northeastern coach Greg Cronin pulled Thiessen for the extra skater for the final seconds of regulation, but the Huskies could not get the puck past Scrivens.

Cornell will next play for a berth in the Frozen Four on Sunday night at 8 p.m., against the winner of Notre Dame and Bemidji State. Sunday's game will be televised live on ESPNU.